their actions are represented as potentially dangerous.
This can be understood in relation to what Jacques Derrida called ‘autoimmunity’, where a body’s own defence mechanism becomes the threat, or in another
of his favoured concepts, the ‘pharmakon’, where something is both poison and
cure. Although these moments of deconstruction are replete within superhero
comics, the chapter will conclude with examples of how superhero comics also
manage to re-establish the distinction, having previously problematised it.
As was noted in Chapter 1, superhero comics are tied to
) contemporary life. It is the force and strangeness of the future anterior, corresponding with Jean-François Lyotard’s definition of the postmodern in 1979 as what ‘would have to be understood according to the paradox of the future ( post ) anterior ( modo )’. 18 It is Derrida’s consistent refrain: ‘Life will have been so short.’ 19 People may still say ‘life’s short’ and try to sound serious, but it’s a kind of philosophical joke. It’s a delusory fiction, a play at rounding up what no living speaker is in a position to round up. It’s like a sentence cut down in the
indications in the literary texts of the early
modern period that suggest we be cautious about endorsing this
privilege. Adopting another perspective, over thirty years ago
Jacques Derrida suggested that: ‘Hearing oneself speak is not
the inwardness of an inside that is closed in upon itself; it is the
irreducible openness in the inside; it is the eye and the world
within speech.’ 8
THE TATTOO SPEAKS
Focusing specifically on two periods of tattoo renaissance (1851–1914, and c. 1955 to the present), 1 this collection establishes the tattoo as a key genre convention and mimetic device that marks and remarks crime and detective narratives in complex ways. In choosing the subtitle for this book, we were mindful of Jacques Derrida’s concept of ‘re-marking’ ( 1992 ). 2 In his discussion of writing, Derrida uses the term to refer to a simultaneous act of difference and communality in writing
especially The Interpretation of Dreams (especially Chapter 7 ), and Beyond the Pleasure
Principle (Ricoeur, 1970 : 69–86).
Both Lacan and Derrida commented on the Project , and this gives
it another acute interest.
The Project discusses neurones, chains of
communication comprising the nervous system. Freud distinguishes three
types. One, the phi (Φ), are permeable, so that
of ‘immanent poetics’ underlying popular forms thus emanates from
broad reading of synchronic publications. The specific temporality of
this procedure foreshadows the methodological basis of my own work
and, as the final section of this chapter will show, intersects with theories by Bakhtin and Derrida. Jauß describes the necessary process for
establishing the genesis of historical genres as follows:
Where there is no initially posited and described generic norm, the
establishing of a generic structure must be gained from the perception
[Anschauung] of individual
years ago with our eminent colleague, Professor Meyer
Shapiro, on the subject of certain shoes in Van Gogh.
Jacques Derrida, ‘Mochlos’ 1
On the basis of my introductory
discussion of disorientation and leverage in the university,
negotiated through Derrida’s image of ‘walking on two
’ is Jacques Derrida’s ingenious construction of a crypt-word, entailing what is to be kept safe, saved, in an inner safe that mixes up singular and plural, inside and outside. Fors as a preposition means ‘save’, ‘except for’, but can also be a plural form of for (as in le for intérior , ‘in the inner heart’, or en mon for intérior , ‘in my heart of hearts’) as well as playing, like the hinges of a door, on the Latin foris , ‘door’, and thus ‘outside’, ‘out of doors’ (hence the English word foreign ). 1 As I have tried to suggest in the preceding pages
’s interpretation. My main task here is twofold:
first, to outline how Bhabha deploys Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytical
theory and Jacques Derrida’s deconstructive criticism as critical tools
to interpret the work of Fanon; and second to problematize the
appropriation of Fanon in postcolonial and cultural studies.
The look and the dissembling of the self
To capture the ambivalent psychology and split character of the évolué
assimilated into French culture, Fanon writes in Black Skin, White
Masks: ‘what is often called the black soul is a white man’s artifact’.2
continental philosophy itself has, in recent times, been
marked by a general return to the question of ethics. Thinkers such as Derrida
and Lyotard, for instance, turned later in their work to more explicit ethical
concerns, the former through Levinas, and the latter through Aristotle and
Kant. The seeming paradox here is that the postmodern condition, with which
such thinkers have been generally associated, is seen to imply a breakdown of
moral metanarratives and a decline of the idea of a universal moral position.
Instead of Kant’s categorical imperative – in which ethics